Something else I’ve learned with all the hubbub around marriage equality: we’re all just looking for information that confirms what we already “know” (i.e., believe), and we rarely engage in discussion in a way that supports learning or discovery of new information. In other words, we’re all just trying to make a point, and we need the most believable stuff out there to win: statistics and an abstract from a research article.
I’ll illustrate by referring to the infamous Regnerus study. If you believe marriage should be between one man and one woman, you might grab onto the study and say something like “research shows that children raised by gay couples aren’t as well-adjusted as children raised by a mom and a day” without having first read the study.
Or you might rely on a summary of the research from a secondhand source like Fox News.
Or a friend.
In short, few of us do our own reading and thinking, and even fewer of us think critically about how people come to the conclusions they come to. We accept it on authority. And I’ll admit — I do it too. Jon Stewart is my go too source for accurate, factual information.
And this becomes problematic when it comes to important topics like marriage equality and human rights. It almost always becomes a game of he said she said. Or rather Jon Stewart said Bill O’Reilly said.
I’m not really sure how the discussion should happen. It seems like asking questions and having a dialogue should be enough, but that always comes across as challenging the source of authority. And this is problematic when the authority is God, a prophet of God, or Jon Stewart. You can’t challenge them. They’re smart, educated people.
Here’s another problem. It’s easy for me when people challenge Jon Stewart. He’s just a dude with a talk show. It’s probably not as easy for other people when God is challenged. He’s THE dude that knows it all. And when research doesn’t confirm (or deny) the message he trying to send through his messengers, it kinda plays with you.
That’s what I love about our country. It was set up so we won’t have to have these conversations. It was set up so you can go to church on Sunday and I can watch Jon Stewart four nights of the week. You can believe I’m going to hell for marrying a dude, and I can believe you’re wrong. I can believe I’m happy, and you can believe only straight families are happy. I’m okay with that.
So I’ll conclude with one point.
And state what I want (and it’s not an attack on your God or your religion) regardless of what research or religion says: equality.